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Monday, January 27, 2014

Jimmy Pruett: My Gal Sal/A Shanty In Old Shanty Town (1962?)

I was over at vintage store B4 in Deep Ellum again tonight, and, among a few other righteous treasures, found this 7". According to Jimmy Pruett's German-language Wikipedia entry (he doesn't have one in English), Pruett was a blind pianist and guitarist, born in 1925 in Los Angeles. Here's another bio from

Pruett was a member of this radio and television country music program called Town Hall Party. I'd never heard of it -- Town Hall Party looks pretty cool.

Here's a brief bio of Pruett from musician Lee Bloom's list of important jazz pianists.

Here's a copy of this record (a Capitol Records release) on for $12.00, and here's a copy on Ebay for $4.79. That's what my copy looks like.

The Discogs page for Jimmy Pruett is sparse and doesn't list this recording. Over on 45cat, Pruett's name is even more rare, with only one listing, as piano on a Jackie Lee Cochran bootleg reproduction from 1973.

The Worldcat entry for this 45 is the only site I found that hazards to guess what year this was released.

The two songs on this 45 are more like swing jazz, like Reinhardt/Tatum kinda stuff, and I really dig it. But as you can see from the Youtube videos below the two mp3s, Pruett also had more rockin' fare. Jimmy Pruett is 89 or so years old now, and, as far as I could tell using the Internet, may still be alive somewhere. I hope he's doing well. This guy wailed on axe and the keys. I've very glad I found this!

Here's "My Gal Sal," a traditional written by Paul Dresser:

And here's "A Shanty In Old Shanty Town," which says it was written by Siras-Little-Young:

Here's Pruett wailin' on guitar, both vidjas from Town Hall Party:

Finally, here's those two Jackie Lee Cochran songs with Pruett on piano. Cool stuff.